Dr. Jeff and Illinois Back Institutes very only Doctor of Physical Therapy Amy Harmening join Jeanne Sparrow & Melissa Forman on WCIU’s You & Me This Morning to discuss tips to avoiding back pain while shopping this holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that over 50,000 people every year endure some sort of winter-related back injury, and 5,800 of those are holiday decorating-related. It is possible for you to sustain all sorts of strains in your back from carrying heavy purchases while shopping this holiday season. Don’t let back pain hold you back from getting the gifts for your loved ones.
Tips To Avoiding Back Pain While Shopping
- It is better to have a bunch of smaller bags than just one large heavy bag. You want to distribute the weight evenly throughout your body.
- Keep heavy items at the bottom of your bag and lighter items at the top.
- Stay hydrated! Lack of water contributes to chronic muscle spasms & increased blood viscosity. Both contribute to poor healing and inflammation. You should drink enough water that you have to urinate at least 3-4 times a day.
- Make frequent trips to your car to drop off bags so you aren’t carrying too much.
- Shop at quieter times to avoid bumping your back or people who may accidently push you.
- Plan ahead so that you are not rushing around and putting yourself under stress.
- Make sure to stretch before and after a long day of shopping.
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with a rubber sole and a heel that is about half an inch high to provide good arch support.
- Make sure to wear comfortable clothing as well. If you are going from outdoors (cold environment) to indoors (warm environment) it is a good idea to wear layers.
- If you are having issues reaching or carrying a product at a store don’t be afraid to ask for help. At some stores you may want to call ahead of time.
- Bring a family member or friend to come along with you that can help ease the physical demands.
- If you can leave your purse at home and only bring necessary items like your license, credit card, etc.
- Plan frequent breaks throughout your day of shopping. Most people should take breaks every 45 minutes.
- During your breaks make sure to keep hydrated and also eat light foods like salads or fruit.
- Skip coffee breaks! Studies have shown caffeine to promote spasms. If you suffer from muscle damage, it can cause those muscles to be inflamed.
- If possible avoid shopping with the kids! This additional stress that you do not need while shopping.
Hopefully if you are able to follow the tips above you will be able to have a pain free holiday with you loved ones. You can easily strain your back when you least expect it. Long or short shopping trips make sure to keep these tips in mind. Happy shopping everyone!